After a controversial one week delay, Nigerians are expected to finally cast their votes tomorrow to elect the next president of Africa’s biggest oil producer.
But ahead of the polls, many electorates and observers are unsure of whom could emerge victorious.
This, therefore, makes this election one of Nigeria’s most keenly contested one.
The incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari, has promised to complete the work he started over the the past four years; fighting corruption and repositioning the economy.
But the opposition party is of the opinion that President Buhari has failed and that they alone (the PDP), has the solution Nigeria needs.
Last weekend, many Nigerians were extremely eager to perform the all-important civic function of choosing the next “Chief Executive Officer” for Africa’s most important economy.
Some even travelled long distances in order to cast their votes in their constituencies.
According to Mr David who works in an advertising agency here in Lagos:
“I travelled all the way to Abia State in order to be able to vote. I had tried without success to get INEC to move my PVC to Lagos where I now reside. So, I figured I could as well travel to my constituency and vote. That is how importantly I took this election…”
But the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, had other plans. The election was cancelled at the very last minute, INEC citing logistical problems as the reason why.
And now, the electorates may not be as eager as they were before. According to Reuters, last Saturday’s unexpected postponement of the presidential election might have discouraged many voters from wanting to participate further.
This is because not a lot of people can afford to travel again this weekend just to vote for candidates they do not even trust to deliver on their electoral promises.
A president would have to be elected; Who would it be?
For a fiercely contested presidential election such as this, it is utterly impossible to predict who could win Saturday’s election. Believe it or not, the two main contenders – President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar – are strong political forces to be reckoned with.
Incidentally, both are of the same Nigerian political class, meaning that they may be basically focused on their self-interests and instead of the interest of the public.
Consequently, it is unclear if any of the two leading candidates will be able to deliver. It is a difficult thing to pick between two undesirable choices.
Nigerians must choose wisely
There are a lot of things at stake in this election. Jobs and unemployment are at stake, just as the economy is at stake. Even the reputation of the country is at stake. The same goes for national security.
And for all these reasons and more, Nigerians must vote wisely on Saturday, February 23rd. What happens in the next four years will be very critical in determining whether the country moves forward or is left behind.
Therefore, if you can travel in order to vote, please do so. And no matter what happens, ensure to vote the candidate you believe in.
This is the responsibility of the citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.